Saturday, January 26, 2008

Nee is dull

Sometimes I think I was born a stick in the mud. John loves to go to different cultural events, especially musical performances, but he doesn't often rope me into going along. Last Saturday night was one of those rare occasions. The Swedish club sponsored a trio to sing and play piano, and Hannah and I went for moral support (and cashiering, it turned out).

The concert was held at the library. I have been using the library for 4 years and never knew that there was a recital hall upstairs. In the upstairs foyer, there was an exhibit of photographs; the theme of the exhibit was transience. I didn't really care for many of the photos. They felt self-consciously pretentious to me, and a bit too random to fit neatly into the theme. But there were some photos I found really touching, especially the ones with a young person and an older relative, the tenderness and love that was apparent in the younger person. There were two other photos I particularly liked, one of a pre-schooler holding her mouth like the child in the (obviously very old) photo she is holding, the other of an old woman holding a photo of herself as a young woman. To me, those spoke of transience, in the person they used to be and the life they were about to leave behind.

Walking around looking at the photos reminded me that I used to enjoy going to museums and plays when I was a student. There's hardly a building on the UT campus that doesn't have some sort of museum or historical display in it, so I had plenty of chances to indulge my interest back then. And the semester John took a drama appreciation class, he was required to attend X number of plays, so I went with him. We saw a lot of wonderful performances that I still remember: Tennessee William's _Camino Royale_, Moliere's _Learned Ladies_, a short play _View From the Rollercoaster_ by ?? (a lovely short play about a gay blind date).

John has dragged Hannah and me along to some musical performances that were just wonderful--an evening of Arab music--and some that were bo-ring, but *drag* always seems to be the operative word. My intransigence has probably rubbed off on Hannah, and that is really not fair to her (1) or to John, who is so eager to experience new things. I don't know why I am so reluctant to leave the house, but that is something I can change.

(1) There are many things that Hannah is not interested in due to overexposure in her childhood: "Not another castle!" "I don't want to go to college when I get big!" "A concert? Bo-ring!"

Ow! My brain!

From the bus (at a stop) I spotted a man with a dog. The man had a plastic bag, and I assumed he was waiting for his dog to do his business. But no--once he got the bag over his hand, he called the dog over, squatted behind it, and apparently had it crap directly onto his bag-covered hand.* I have never seen such a conscientious dog-owner. I have to admit, though, that I felt part of my brain fall out when l saw his particular brand of conscientiousness.

* As I told John later, it was really cold out, so at least the "poop-scooping" served a double-purpose: waste removal and hand warmer.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

We have been having really up-and-down weather this winter. I swear that our first winter here, the temps hovered just above freezing for months and months. We got snow occasionally, and it stuck around for a pretty long time once it had fallen. Now, it rained buckets yesterday, but we had frost on all the cars this morning. Plus, small bushes are blooming. In January. So when I saw that the local old-fashioned hardware shop* had put wooden sleds out, I had to applaud them for not giving up on winter just yet.

* I love this shop, although I've never been in. It reminds me of the old True-Value hardware stores (I think) in my hometown, with the amazing variety of small appliances, tools, and household stuff. The prices seem to be a bit stiff, but I may treat myself to an old-fashioned cookie press and some baking supplies when my birthday rolls around. **

**Gah! 35 in one month! Ack!

John's back has crapped out on him again. He's been trapped in the recliner with some aspirin and a hot-water bottle since Sunday. Since then, we've been arguing about the advisability of sex in that state. I'll let you guess which position John has taken on the matter. (Hint--John is a man.) He thinks he'll be able to go back to work tomorrow, even if he is still a little crooked.

You can tell Hannah is getting older: her list of wants is changing. At xmas she still wanted some Ken dolls; now she wants to dye her hair red and learn how to ski. If she doesn't start studying properly and bring her grades up, she is going to want some new parents, because she will be in deep do-doo with the ones she has.